Who We Are
Besides Nature Lovers
Jon and Susan Cross are passionate advocates of restoring habitat to its native state. They're on a mission to restore the rare habitat where they live – The Oak Openings Region. The Crosses have restored their own 20 acres of rare woodland, sand barren, and wet prairie. Their recipe for restoration models how private landowners can contribute to healthy environments, clean water, and native species repopulation no matter where they live.
Jon is a highly regarded Oak Openings Region nature conservationist and former information technology leader. Susan is an author and a public relations expert.
Why We Think Nature Matters
Gardening with native plants is not just a passing fad. It is a critical step in using biodiversity to reduce the negative impacts
associated with climate change. Susan and Jon Cross are committed to sharing their unique habitat restoration story to show the environmental and personal benefits that occur when private citizens and public entities work together to embrace our shared mission to care for the natural world.
And the Story Behind it
We’ve restored our 20 acres in the Oak Openings Region to its native state by eliminating the invasive plants to make way for the rare native plants to regenerate. What surprised us the most during this process was that we didn’t have to plant many seeds. We just had to disrupt the wrong environment and give what’s supposed to be there a chance to thrive. We think of our property as a Zen environment – or Zenvironment for short. A Zenvironment is an intentional space that nurtures restoration for nature and for people.
Read more about our property.
Where We Live
The Oak Openings Region in Ohio
Home to more rare species than any other place in Ohio, The Nature Conservancy has called the Oak Openings one of America’s Last Great Places. The Oak Openings Region is a tract of land a little larger than the state of Rhode Island between Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, that was formed by ancient glaciers. Only 1% of it remains undeveloped.
Read More about the science of "The Oaks"